Our Sleep Journey over the First 12 Months Navigating the Challenges and Embracing the Ups and Downs
Hey there! Welcome to another episode of the Changing Birth podcast! I'm so excited to share our personal experience with you today. We're going to dive into a topic that so many parents can relate to: the sleep journey. Let me tell you, it's been quite the adventure!
Understanding the Importance of Support
As a parent, I know firsthand the struggles that come with broken sleep and tough nights. During those challenging times, hearing from other parents about their journeys can be incredibly powerful. It's not always about seeking advice or finding a quick fix; it's about knowing that we're not alone and that this phase will pass. I hope that by sharing our story, I can provide support, solidarity, and reassurance to all you amazing parents out there.
The Motivation Behind Sharing Our Story
Broken sleep is a topic that many of us find ourselves grappling with, and I wanted to share our own journey to provide insight and reassurance. Our goal was to manage our little one's sleep in a way that worked for us and to support both their sleep and ours as a family. Traditional sleep training, controlled crying or comforting, and even more 'gentle sleep training' approaches didn't feel right for me, and didn't align with my values as a mum. Absolutely no judgement if this is what path you go down for your family, but with this post and podcast episode I would like to shine a light on another way that we can approach things.
I am currently completing my NDC Neuroprotective Developmental Care Accreditation with Dr Pam Douglas and will be offering sleep support services in 2024. Get in touch to find out more.
Embracing Authenticity and Messiness
I'll be honest with you, when I first sat down to write this post, I had this grand plan to create a detailed outline and keep it succinct. But you know what? Infant sleep is messy. It's filled with ups and downs, and sometimes, it's hard to remember all the details. But that's okay. Every baby is unique, and understanding their needs and cues is crucial in navigating this sleep journey.
Trusting Our Instincts and Baby's Cues
Through our experience, we found that getting to know our baby and following their lead played a significant role in managing sleep. While it's important to prioritize our baby's needs, it's equally essential to take care of ourselves during this time. Trusting our instincts, understanding our baby's temperament, and embracing responsive care helped us create a harmonious approach to sleep.
Archie's Sleep Journey
So let me tell you about Archie, our little love. He's been a wakeful baby with lower sleep needs, meaning he requires less sleep within a 24-hour period compared to other babies. It took some time for us to figure out his sleep patterns and needs, but we were committed to finding what worked best for him. For a period of around six months, Archie would wake up every two hours or even less in the night. We understood that frequent waking at night is biologically normal for babies - but that didn't mean it wasn't tough. Of course, if your baby experiences excessive night waking, it's crucial to rule out any underlying medical conditions so I recommend seeing a midwife or GP (which we did)
Supporting my Sleep as A Mum
While we can't have full control over our baby's sleep, we can maximize the rest and sleep we get as parents. In this episode I discuss my top strategies for getting through the day after a rough nights sleep, the concept of a 'reverse sleep in what I do to prioritise rest and how I made it all work during this time.
So that's it, our sleep journey in a nutshell. It's been a rollercoaster ride, but I want to remind you that every baby is different. By sharing our story, I hope I've provided comfort, support, and a reminder that this phase will pass. I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast episode and it provides some valuable insights for your journey. Trust your instincts, embrace responsive care, and prioritize your own wellbeing. And always remember, you're not alone in this amazing journey of parenthood!
By understanding what is considered normal and seeking professional advice when necessary, we can navigate this sleep journey with a greater sense of rest and resilience.
Photo from the wonderful Fable & Fig.